UWTSD student designs picture for Golwg360’s Barn y Bobl Award


Karen McRobbie, who has just graduated from the Illustration course from Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity Saint David has been selected to create a picture for the Book of the Year prize, Barn y Bobl (The People's Choice) Golwg 360 published last night (Thursday, 21 July) on BBC Radio Cymru.

Karen McRobbie - Myfyrwraig Darlunio

This is the eleventh year in a row that a student from Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity Saint David has made an award for this category.  Karen produced a special picture that was given as a gift by Golwg360, sponsors of the Barn y Bobl Award for the book 'Y Pump ' by 10 different writers.

In the photo designed by Karen, the red dragon is seen reading with a load of books on its head. Karen decided to design the picture by developing a few of the techniques and ideas used for her degree show. The nature of illustration is to respond to a brief, and creating something specific to the People's Opinion Award was well suited to Karen's work.

She said: "I was delighted to hear that I had been chosen to create the picture, and it has been a great honour to create this picture on behalf of Golwg 360. It is a unique opportunity for me to showcase my work as a new illustrator to a huge audience, which could potentially lead to new illustration and art projects and, hopefully, commissions for future work.

"Telling a story, building characters and creating an atmosphere is an integral part of my work.   Recently, I've been working on caricatures of powerful female leaders and on drawing books with personal narratives. The ridicule has given me the opportunity to create luxurious, precise costumes and jewellery, as well as to develop the emotion and expression of the character. In my recent narrative drawings, which are based on fairytale characters and on characters inspired by personal experiences, I have enjoyed developing my use of visual metaphors to tell the story."

Lecturer Gwenllian Beynon said: "It's great to be able to give graduating students the opportunity to work on a professional project with the Art College, and a well-known company such as Golwg360 and also give our graduates the opportunity from the illustration course to be part of the Book of the Year Award. The aim of Owain Schiavone (Chief Executive and Director of Golwg Newydd (Golwg360) and Director of Golwg Cyf) is to have a piece of the students' artwork and to create this opportunity for them to have a little arts platform shortly after graduation."

Iwan Vaughan, one of the Managers of the Illustration programme, added: "This is a great opportunity for Karen and an opportunity that suits her work that has a narrative bias in it".

Myfyrwraig Darlunio

Karen is looking forward to studying her Master's course in Illustration, and is looking forward to developing her painting skills, and digital media skills, with a view to develop and refine her capacity to develop environments and build a world for her narratives. Karen also hopes to extend her series of caricatures, and hopes to develop illustrations of mythological characters, Welsh legends and horror stories.  

Although Karen is honoured to receive this opportunity, she has a busy year ahead of her as she has the opportunity to work on a variety of arts projects with Oriel Myrddin Gallery, the Botanic Garden and an exciting new project for the 2023 Urdd National Eisteddfod, 'Project 23'.